Lidl bucks poor summer for UK supermarket booze sales

Lidl has bucked the trend for poor supermarket booze sales this summer, thanks to a well-timed wine promotion, as Kantar reported booze sales down £75million over the last 12 weeks.

(Photo: Wiki)

Fraser McKevitt, head of retail and consumer insight at Kantar, said it had been a challenging 12 weeks for all the major grocers, as the supermarkets saw the first overall decline since June 2016 and growth slowed at every supermarket except Ocado.

Although this had been anticipated due to the record sales last year as the UK enjoyed the triple whammy of scorching weather, the men’s football World Cup and the Royal Wedding, it impacted booze in particular, with beer sales falling 11% and cider down 13% in the 12 weeks to 14 July 2019, as retailers struggled to emulated the performance last year in their traditional summer campaigns.

However Lidl however bucked the trend, seeing sales of booze rise 19%, on the back of its deal offering 25% off six bottles of wine, well ahead of its overall 7% sale growth. The Coop also saw modest growth of 0.2%m – no mean feat to top the 6.4% growth it saw last year, as it brought back its popular £5 beer and pizza deal.

Meanwhile Aldi’s share of the market reached a new record, accounting for 8.1% of sales with spend up by 6.7% on last year, but sales across the big four grocers fell collectively by 2.1%.

Tesco saw a 2% fall in sales, while Sainsbury’s sales dropped by 2.3% in the 12 weeks, corresponding to a dip in its market share of 0.3 percentage points to 15.3%.

Asda, which faced particularly tough comparables after last summer’s growth, saw a 2% decline, while sales at Morrisons fell 2.6%, despite a rising proportion of promotional activity, taking its market share down by 0.2 percentage points to 10.3%.

Waitrose saw decline of 1.9% and the retailer’s market share did not move from 5.0%.

One bright spot was online specialist Ocado, which saw sales up 11.9% and its shopper base up 6%. McKevitt noted that its business model had shielded it from the effects of shoppers cutting back on unplanned and smaller trips, which had seen a vast impact on the bricks and mortar retailers, enough to tip the market into a 0.5% decline. However, he added that growth was expected to return once the tough comparable had passed.

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